A HOLIDAY SEASON … AND END OF YEAR … MESSAGE FROM WILLWORK, INC. EXHIBIT & EVENT SERVICES

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is finishing up a year for which we are immensely grateful.

For sure, it is good and proper to be ever mindful of that for which we should give thanks.

Still, it is most certainly the case … and this is only a positive … that the Holiday Season compels and commands a particularly strong and considerate reflection on our good fortune, and that to which good fortune is owed.

As well, during this period of the calendar, there is an increase in activity … or at least there should be … in taking account of what is truly important in life.

It has been a year, 2015 – our 28th in business – in which Willwork posted record revenues, maintained a healthy pace of hiring talented and hardworking people, and added to our expansive roster of valued service offerings … especially in the area of technology solutions and product lines.

In the more than a quarter of a century Willwork has been operating, we have grown a lot – and changed a lot – but always, from the outset … and this is something we will not grow out of, nor will this ever change … there are values we hold closely and to which we faithfully adhere.

Starting early on our journey, which commenced in 1987, Willwork has been a place of teamwork … and an enterprise that holds and supports a culture of family and caring for its employees.

Willwork is also a company that recognizes and fully appreciates that our clients keep us in business; they pay the salaries and benefits of our employees; they keep the doors open, lights on, computers running, and phones connected.

We never mail a job in, never take one for granted, and always strive to improve the quality and delivery of our services.

Willwork is mindful that it is based … and works … in the greatest country on earth – a country imperfect and flawed … and one that better and more comprehensively ensures and protects natural rights, and affords more opportunity, than any other.

In a memoriam post in this space, published on September 11, 2014, Willwork shared its thoughts on our republic; here is an excerpt:

Day in and day out we see, experience, and benefit from, first hand, the spirit, character, diversity, virtue, and work ethic of the people of this nation. Willwork, our employees, and the families of our employees are immeasurably grateful for and rewarded with the opportunities that America makes available.

Please click here to be taken to the complete post.

Yes, 2015 has been a wonderful year.

It has been a year of hard work, productivity, challenges, and happiness.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services looks forward with enthusiasm, high hopes, and competitive zeal to 2016.

And Willwork wishes for all the Happiest of Holidays … and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WILLWORK, INC. EXHIBIT & EVENT SERVICES AND A COMMITMENT TO QUALITY; IT’S OUR HERITAGE, AND OUR FUTURE

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.”

VINCE LOMBARDI
Recently, we posted here an essay on business engagement authored by Drew Powers, Vice President of Sales for Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services. Drew is a 40-year veteran of the events and show industry.

From our founding, more than 25 years ago, strong and effective engagement has been a hallmark of the way Willwork operates and does business. We engage and forge strong relationships with our customers, our business partners, and companies that provide us services and products.

Of course, an engaged workforce is fundamental to the success of a company… and Willwork has always striven to ensure its employees are engaged in, and committed to, their jobs – and that they are accountable to themselves and their colleagues, and do their work fully understanding its importance to the overall performance of the enterprise for which they work – and which they represent.

Especially, in the events and show industry, one in which logistics and timing and precision are so vital to success, every single member of a service team must share the same goal, the same dream, and must do his or her job. Because, for sure, all it takes is one person to fail and not do what he should be doing, or what she should be doing, and that can compromise and undermine the flawless efforts of many.

Having an engaged team of employees is also necessary for any organization that hopes to be stalwart and exceptionally good in delivering quality – quality in performance and customer service.

As is the case with engagement, quality in performance and customer service has always been an essential and primary component of Willwork. Now, for sure, this claim can come off as trite, and hackneyed, and one that is a requisite statement for any organization, even one that is downright horrible and deficient in performance and service.

But, you see, Willwork has the long and solid track record of evidence to support and prove its claim.

It is owed to quality that the Willwork client roster includes among the most recognized and established organizations on the planet, including Adobe, AstraZeneca, Facebook, Ford Motor Company, Google, IBM, McKesson, Nike … and smaller companies that you may not have heard of, yet … but you will.

And every company for which we work, whether it is a multinational with tens of thousands of employees, or a startup with no more than a few employees, receives the same attention and level of quality of service.

Willwork Culture, Our Way of Doing Things; “Whatever It Takes”

Willwork understands, and is directed and guided by, the truth that it is inadequate to only preach and evangelize excellent performance and customer service, and to urge it. Management and supervisors can sound this clarion all they want – but the call will not render positive and productive results without employees who have attentive and receptive ears, and who have the ability, and are fully willing, to effectively respond.
A company delivers excellent quality because it has not only excellent people – but also the right people.

Willwork spends considerable time, and dedicates considerable resources to, recruiting and hiring the right people. Being highly intelligent, highly motivated, and possessing a strong work ethic –while all valuable and estimable qualities – are not enough. Willwork looks for people who will be committed to the “Willwork Way” of doing things, and who can work well … and thrive … within the Willwork environment and culture.

Sure, people we recruit don’t have to be exactly the right fit, right off – but they must be those who have the potential to be the right fit, who want … or can be inspired and directed to … want to be the right fit.
Hiring the right people is a start. After the hire, commences training and practice that continues and is ongoing as long as a person is employed at Willwork. We believe that not only do we need to train our employees – who we regard as our most valuable resource – so that they do their job better and more efficiently, which translates to higher quality delivered to our customers – but we also believe that we owe our employees professional development. People commit to Willwork, and Willwork commits to people.

The Willwork way – Willwork culture – is embodied in the best trained and highest skilled work force in the business, across every job responsibility, every job title, every department, and at every level.
Willwork’s dedication to training is exemplified in our Willwork University, which is renowned across the industry. Willwork University is a training seminar held multiple times throughout the year at the numerous Willwork facilities nationwide. While the training and instruction is focused on and geared to events and shows, anyone working in event and shows, whatever their position, can realize tremendous value in attending the university.

Over the two days, Willwork lead personnel, supervisors, and managers instruct and teach all aspects of the job that laborers must be proficient in to be successful. The curriculum is a mix of classroom, shop floor, and exhibit floor instruction. Those who successfully complete the university even receive a certificate of graduation from the university.

A keystone of the Willwork way and our operating culture, that which is manifest in our people, is being proactive, always being on the lookout to add value, never becoming complacent, and never thinking that a job is just good enough.

Willwork has something of an unofficial motto, “Whatever It Takes.” We honor and abide by it.

As for always looking out ways to add value, and for ways to help, consider the following excerpts from written testimonials we recently received from four different clients:

“Hi Brandon! I wanted to thank you again for going the extra mile to help make sure the NECA show as a success …. We can’t thank you enough for helping us out over the weekend- and making sure we had everything we needed before you left …. “

“ …. Mandy is always a tremendous help, but now more than ever during this insane busy season, she is absolutely invaluable to the success of not only the events, but of the sanity of the team. She has personally saved me from numerous fire drill situations MANY times …. “

“ …. You and your team were beyond accommodating, as well as a last minute savior and source when needed – and I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated it! …. ”

“You are all pro-active, professionals and overall, everyone’s attitude on the show floor was so positive and forward thinking, it made our jobs so much easier and actually a pleasure, even at times when the pressure was on from our executives.”

“Bob is an extremely conscientious professional whose number one priority was to make ME – the Client – come out as a total hero to my superiors, company and client.  Bob came up with some great creative ideas for a reasonable budget.  He also jumped through hoops the Sunday prior to the event to deliver some last minute add-ons we requested. “The Never Ending Quest for Improvement – and to Deliver Increased Quality; Staying Young, and Staying Hungry Another important aspect, quality, of the Willwork way and the Willwork culture, of our way of doing things – one that nurtures, fuels, and supports our quest to always be better, is that our employees stay young in spirit and in the way they go about their jobs. They stay hungry – and enthused and excited.

And, every day, every Willwork employee in every one of our offices from coast to coast, calls on an inner Vince Lombardi to staying fully vigilant, and fully focused on, and working with full effort toward, not winning and being highly competitive some of the time, or most of the time … but all of the time.

THE PRACTICE OF ENGAGEMENT IS THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS – AND THE KEY TO MORE PRODUCTIVITY AND MORE PROFITABILITY

Engagement is the Business … is the Essence … of Tradeshows and Events

By Drew Powers

“Business and human endeavors are systems… we tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system. And wonder why our deepest problems never get solved.”

PETER SENGE

How is Starbucks one of the world’s most powerful and recognized brands even if, in comparison to other companies its size, it does very little advertising? How is Mary Kay the sixth largest direct sales company in the world even though it does next to no advertising?

The primary reason that Starbucks and Mary Kay are so successful, and so well known, even though they don’t spend much on advertising, was explained in a keynote address delivered recently by Jack Meyers, Chairman and Media Ecologist at MyersBizNet. Mr. Meyers is among the most in demand media and marketing strategists, and futurists.

Mr. Meyers, an author whose work in film documentaries has been nominated for Academy and Emmy awards, presented his speech in July, in Boston, at E2MA Red Diamond Congress, one of the exhibit and event industry’s premier networking conferences.

“Engagement” was the theme of the conference.

In his talk, Mr. Meyers discussed and provided examples of how the practice and economies of advertising and media are undergoing a sea change, a revolution; he talked about where the opportunities will be in, and the nature of, the future of advertising and marketing.

Mr. Meyers made the case that companies like Starbucks and Mary Kay are able to so cost-effectively connect and communicate with customers, and to sell so much product, on a miniscule advertising budget, because they are all stars in engaging people; they are engagement hall of famers.

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In every industry and endeavor, there are strategies and buzzwords and the new thing; they take precedence, for a while … then they retreat in our consciousness and our attention, and in the focus and prevalence and intensity of their application … and, while they don’t go away, soon enough there are other strategies and buzzwords and new things.

“Engagement” is receiving considerable attention lately. It is a hot concept.

Yet, for companies and organizations that have long been winning, engagement has long been more than a concept; it has not been ephemeral – for it has long been fundamental to the way these groups function.

Without a focus on and commitment to engagement, Willwork, Inc. Exhibit Services would not have come close to the growth and success we have achieved.

Willwork has been “doing” engagement since we launched more than 25 years ago, for as long as we have been operating. We understand fully the elements and substance of engagement.

Engagement is holistic, and involves a constellation – a system – of human and organizational connectivity, in which all players and components are networked, in varying degrees of proximity and influence, with each other.

Working and effective engagement confers value and competitive advantage throughout this constellation.

Engagement focuses on strengthening and making more valuable the relationships between a company and its clients – and between a company and its vendors, industry and trade organizations, facility managers, and government.

Engagement involves – and this is necessary for, and paramount to, optimum engagement – internal employee engagement. If employees aren’t engaged, not consulted and listened to, not encouraged to participate, not provided continuous professional development … and if they do not feel invested in the process, then the company for which they are employed will not win, and will not deliver winning products and services.

Engagement is about listening, asking questions, responding – and caring about your job, and feeling that there is worth and importance in doing it.

Engagement is about committing the resources and time to developing and making your organization the best, and making the best readily and easily available to everyone for whom and with whom you work.

It is because engagement is so important, and will continue to be so important, that the future of shows and events is bright, as is the future of job opportunities and job openings for show and event planners.

Engagement Makes Companies More Profitable

Exhibiting, events, and shows are, at their essence, the business of engagement.

Bruce Bolger will tell you this. Promoting and teaching engagement is his business; he strongly believes both in the value of engagement, and that shows and events are venues and paradigms that are particularly hospitable to, and fertile environments for, engagement.

Mr. Bolger, managing director of Enterprise Engagement Alliance, also presented at E2MA Red Diamond Congress. Enterprise Engagement Alliance develops and makes available “open source” engagement strategies, available for free, to all, at the organization’s website.

In his seminar, titled, “Engagement Essentials,” Mr. Bolger said that engagement “is so important it should be a formal business practice and field – and that we should be applying the same rigor and discipline to engaging people that we do to advertising … that we do to a tradeshow exhibition … that we do to an event”

Mr. Bolger full believes that organizations are sacrificing tremendous profits in not embracing and practicing engagement – and that the sacrifice is widespread and deeply institutionalized.

He cited a Gallup poll statistic that 28 percent of U.S. employees do not feel engaged in their work, and a Nielsen survey that revealed 78 percent of U.S. consumers are not loyal to a single brand.

Engagement, Mr. Bolger testifies, is the key to happier and more productive employees, and companies forging a stronger bond with the public, one that facilitates loyalty to a brand,

“ … the whole idea of enterprise engagement … is that everybody is united under a single mission, a single brand,” said Mr. Bolger. “It’s about fostering the proactive involvement of the people who can help you achieve your goals. …. Tradeshows are a magical place to build alignment between your employees, your customers – they’re all there – your vendors, your management,”

He also noted that, “’The new model in business is that you involve your community and your customer in an ongoing conversation about every part of your business. Where can you have that conversation better than at a tradeshow or an event?”

Advertising and Marketing – The Engagement “Sweet Spot”

A primary reason that engagement, when properly applied, will make your company more profitable, is that it is the most cost-effective advertising and marketing-communications programs available to companies.

As Jack Meyers detailed and elaborated on in his speech, engagement is a force shaking up the business of advertising, driving, across many industries, a seismic and cosmic review of advertising and marketing budgets and appropriations.

Mr. Meyers referenced in his talk that ongoing, this past summer, some $30 billion in media budgets were under review in the U.S. That’s a lot of money – 30,000 times $1 million in money. So much media expenditure is under review because, as Mr. Meyers explained with so many new ways for companies to connect with consumers, and build brand loyalty, there are necessarily many unanswered questions about the best, the smartest, way to spend advertising dollars.

Technology, and big data, in the estimation of Mr. Meyers, have not necessarily done much to improve advertising and marketing.

To highlight and support this contention, he presaged his talk with the following quote, which he calls his “favorite of all time,” offered by the English essayist Samuel Johnson in 1759: ‘The trade of advertising is now so near perfection that it is not easy to propose any improvement.”

Reflecting on the Samuel Johnson quote, Mr. Meyers said, “And I think it probably was – and it’s been downhill ever since. How do we deal in a world where technology is not necessarily making advertising any better? In the world of advertising that Samuel Johnson was operating in, it was a world in, it was a world where advertising was making a very personal connection. It was very close … you were communicating with your neighbor through the media or through the choices that they were making, on who they learned about the world, how they learned about business – and they were consuming advertising as something that was meaningful and valuable to them.”

Improvements in technology, and the ever building and growing mountains of data foisted on decision makers and planners, are not, in the estimation of Mr. Meyers, necessarily helping to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of advertising, buying, and selling.

Brands and customer loyalty are being devalued, said Mr. Meyers, and, he maintains, the antidote to this weakening of brand strength and customer loyalty is for business to become reacquainted with the strong interpersonal and closely and poignantly emotional advertising that predominated in the mid 1700s, in the day of Samuel Johnson.

Mr. Myers, did stress, though, that technology will be an important and critical mover in the improvement of advertising and marketing – especially a category he terms “Emotion Tech, which is populated with devices such as wearables, beacons, and “invisibles” – which connect and transmit the emotions of consumers directly to marketers and sellers.

(Willwork clients benefit from our proprietary mobile and beacon technologies, which we have developed in house, that enable show personnel, on show site, to instantaneously capture a variety of specific and valuable information that allows for smarter, faster, and more targeted marketing, and communications with customers and potential customers.)

Speaking to the show and event professionals, Mr. Meyers said that the future of marketing and advertising is “one that I really believe will be your strength. It will be your sweet spot.”

“Let’s move to the future ahead of everyone else,” continued Mr. Meyers, “because you’re in a business where relationships are at the forefront, and all the legacy media and advertising that we look at, their fundamental core business models are embedded in the past – are embedded in mass; not focused, not individual, not taking advantage of new technology to reinforce what you’ve always done which has been about making connections.”

Kronos Incorporated and Willwork, Inc. Exhibit Services, an Ongoing Exercise and Demonstration in Engagement

Engagement is demonstrated in the Willwork relationship with our client Kronos Incorporated, a world leading management software and services company. Kronos invented the microprocessor based time clock, and was a pioneer in developing PC based time and attendance products.

Our main point of contact at Kronos, and the person who stewards the company’s relationship with Willwork, is Alena McMullen (CTSM), Events Manager for Kronos.

In a note that Alena recently sent to Willwork, she described the system and network of valued support that we deliver to Kronos.

Elucidated in the note is the strong dedication to customer service and client support which is a hallmark of Willwork culture and the way we do business.

Willwork employees cited in the note are Chuck Texeira, Danielle Clark, and Shannon Cushing.

The Kronos and Willwork relationship commenced back in 2012 when Kronos hired us to install & dismantle a series of its custom exhibits. Kronos was, as Alena described, ‘thrilled with the service” we delivered.

Yet Kronos was not aware that Willwork was a full service tradeshow and event company, with a rapidly growing general contracting division operating from coast to coast.

Kronos might have continued to remain unaware of our expansive roster of capabilities if not for an engaged and caring employee, Chuck Texeira. It was during the 2012 Exhibitor Show in Las Vegas that Chuck and Alena talked, and she told Chuck about the corporate events Kronos ran and the company’s event general contracting needs.

Well, at the same time the Exhibitor Show was going on, Willwork was providing the general contracting service for an IBM show at the MGM Grand. Chuck seized the opportunity to take Alena over to the MGM and provide her a tour of the GC work Willwork was performing.

As Alena noted, she was “impressed” with Willwork as a GC, and “grateful that Chuck took the time to leave Exhibitor to go to another hotel and show me around. When I got back to the office I let my team know all about Willwork and what they could do.”

Then there is Danielle Clark.

“Danielle brings something very unique to this business – she cares,” wrote Alena. ‘She cares about the client being happy; she cares about the image of her company in a way that is refreshing.

“Danielle can answer any question..even ones that she shouldn’t have to.  For example, I was trying to come up with new sponsorships this year at our event.  I was having a creative block.  I decided to reach out to Danielle and in about an hour she had a list for me of about 10 different ideas!  That is a true partnership …. There was nothing in it for her but she took the time to help me out.  That to me says a lot about her and her dedication to maintaining a strong relationship with her clients.

‘Danielle feels my pain.  When I am onsite and things aren’t going as fast as I expected (which isn’t often) she doesn’t try and make excuses.  She acknowledges issues and fixes them.  Again, very refreshing.  I trust her completely.  If she says something is going to work, it will.  If she says not to worry about something, I won’t.”

Alena also had laudatory things to say about Shannon Cushing.

Alena wrote, “I have had the pleasure now of working with [Shannon] at two events.  Wow!  Where do you find these amazing people.  My co-worker even said to me, about Shannon, ‘She’s like a Danielle in training.’ You couldn’t get a better complement than that and I agree.  Shannon in my experience goes the extra mile.  No matter what you ask, her answer is, ‘Absolutely, not a problem.’”

In the estimation of Alena, exceptional customer service and high-level and effective engagement are evidenced across Willwork.

“I can’t end this email without mentioning your entire organization.  I don’t know them all by name but everyone I have come in contact with or worked with at Willwork has been fantastic.  Everyone is very good at what they do and seem to complement each other’s skills.”

Engagement and the Future of Shows and Events

There was considerable speculation and prediction that the online world might diminish the importance of shows and events and meetings. In person interaction would decrease in frequency, and become less important.

Easily and instantaneously accessible and available data and other information would nullify a need to meet on site and face to face.

This has not come to pass. Indeed, the meetings and events industry is booming, companies are increasing their meetings and events budgets – and, as mentioned earlier, employment and job prospects in the industry are as strong and sunny as in almost any sector.

It is a time of great change, globally – across all of society, all industries.

The manner and nature of business, of buying and selling, are undergoing as profound and penetrating change as any aspect and element of our civilization.

Those organizations that most intelligently, precisely, and consistently integrate and apply engagement in their operations will be those that will own the future, and seize most of its opportunity.

Drew Powers is Director of Sales for Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services. He has worked in the events industry for 45 years.

 

 

MEETINGS MAKE MONEY: A REVIEW OF THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF MEETINGS

Face-to-face meetings are arguably the most cost-efficient form of marketing that exists today. Conventions, trade shows, and private corporate events are unique 3-D environments, combining elements of marketing, advertising, and sales. Meetings bring targeted buyers and sellers together at one place, and at one time. Events facilitate personal interaction, networking, education, branding, and can generate both immediate and deferred sales opportunities.

Meetings are all about business: they develop relationships, generate leads, close deals, and create new customers. More than that, meetings impact local economies. Similar to a sporting event coming to a city (but even more so), meetings draw people to a city. These people spend money: according to the US Travel Association, an average attendee at a trade show spends over $1,000. And that spending creates jobs … lots of jobs! Not just jobs for most of the people reading this article, but think about all the types of jobs created: anyone that works at a convention venue (anyone, in any capacity); anyone in the hospitality business that caters to conventioneers (staffs at hotels, restaurants, and night clubs); taxi drivers; meeting planners; meeting suppliers; transportation companies; exhibit designers and builders; association and show managers; corporate exhibit managers … the list could go on and on, but space is limited.

Trade shows and meetings create an enormous economic impact. In 2012, Boston hosted 245 events at the BCEC and Hynes. 654,119 professional attendees participated in these events. These attendees came to Boston and spent approximately $656 MIL — this number includes $35.75 MIL in direct taxes. (Source: massconvention.com). Direct taxes obviously benefit an economy. But the benefit is even greater — because the people whose jobs are impacted by meetings, make more money, spend more money, and pay more taxes. Over time the economic impact multiplies. The BCEC opened in 2004. In the past ten years, the BCEC and Hynes hosted over 2400 conventions, and created an economic impact of $5.3 BIL, which includes $262 MIL in city and state taxes. These events brought people to the city, and put “heads on beds” – 5.2 MIL hotel room nights. Over 1 MIL taxi rides and 5300 jobs have been created. (Source: MCCA. Economic Impact and Annual Report. 10/02/2014). In July, 2014, the Governor of Massachusetts signed legislation authorizing a 1.3 MIL square foot expansion of the BCEC.

Okay. If the economic impact of meetings on a local economy is significant, what is the impact nationwide? It is more than significant; it is impressive. Members of the Convention Industry Council commissioned Pricewaterhouse Coopers to audit meetings that occurred in the US, during 2012. The study, “The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U. S. Economy,” reported:

  • There were 1.83 MIL meetings in 2012.
  • 244.9 MIL participants attended these meetings.
  • 5.3 MIL jobs were created, generating $234.6 BIL in labor income.
  • $280 BIL in direct spending; another $490 BIL in indirect and induced spending.
  • $508 BIL in federal taxes, and $379 BIL in state and local taxes (total= $887 BIL).

So, how big is $508 BIL (the amount of federal taxes generated by the Industry)? Well, written like that, it may not seem so big. $508 BIL is $508,000,000,000. A billion, in the US, is 1,000 million. A billion seconds is 31 years. To count from one to a billion, would take 95 years. If a billion people stood on top of each other, the line would extend past the moon. So a billion would appear to be a pretty big number … except when it isn’t — the federal government in Washington DC spends a billion dollars every 8 hours and 20 minutes. (Source: mathforum.org). At the rate of one billion every 8 and 1/3 hours, it would take the government approximately 176.5 days to exhaust the federal tax money generated by the meetings industry.

How large is the meeting industry compared with other industries? It may surprise some to learn that meetings contribute more to the US economy than many other major US industries.

Direct Contribution to GDP of Select Industries

Estimated Value Added to GDP (in billions)

Meetings

$115.6

Motion picture and sound recording industries

$113.0

Information and data processing services

$ 80.0

Air transportation

$ 78.0

Amusement, gambling, and recreation industries

$ 71.0

Rail transportation

$ 40.0

Source: US Bureau of Economic Analysis

Meetings create opportunities for individuals, and for businesses. They are an important economic engine and one of the best kept secrets for anyone outside the industry. It is time, actually past time, to share this secret. The bottom line: Meetings make dollars and sense.

 

WILLWORK, INC. EXHIBIT & EVENT SERVICES DOES A CALL OUT TO IMPRESSIVE AND AWESOME U.S. HOLIDAY DISPLAYS AND EVENTS

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national leader in installation and dismantle labor, event contracting, permanent installations, and audio visual production.

Companies, and other organizations, that range in size from major multinationals to small enterprises, rely on  our professionalism, highly skilled labor teams, work ethic, personalized service, and ability to innovate and resource to do things right, on time, and on budget.

Among the many types of exhibits, staging, and displays that Willwork installs and builds are those that are large and highly ornate, and in which well designed and creative multimedia powerfully transmit a message and evoke emotion.

We thought, therefore, appropriate for a post here today –- a post during the holiday season – to highlight and give a call out to some impressive and awesome holiday displays and events that annually take place and are located here in America.

The World's Largest Menorah (photo credit: Travelers Today)

The World’s Largest Menorah (photo credit: Travelers Today)

Perhaps the most iconic holiday season display in America is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree – a tradition launched during the Great Depression.  Almost always a Norway Spruce, the tree ranges in height, from year to year, from between 60 and 70 feet on the low end, to the 100 foot conifer set in 1999, still the tallest.

The lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree – and its 45,000 multicolored LED lights –  is watched in person by tens of thousands, and millions viewing on TV.

The World’s Largest Hanukkah Menorah is installed in New York City, adjacent to Central Park, at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 59th Street.  It weighs 4,000 pounds and was designed by Israeli artist Yaacov Agam.

For almost 25 years, the Trail of Lights Trail of Lights in Branson, MO has provided one of the most spectacular holiday lights displays on the planet.  The centerpiece of the event and presentation is a 2.5 mile roadway alongside which are millions of lights and hundreds of decorations, props, and themed landscapes through which motorists travel.

Of course, a major holiday tradition throughout America are stores decorating their holiday windows.  And no holiday windows are more famed and artfully created than are those in the Macy’s flagship store in New York City.

The Macy’s Holiday Window Display is an American classic.

In terms of spectacular, and historic, uplifting, and heartwarming, First Night Boston – the oldest First Night celebration in America – plays out with cultural and entertainment events across the city, starting early in the afternoon on December 31 and running through to midnight and an awesome show of fireworks over the Charles River.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services hopes for all the Happiest of Holiday Seasons, and a hopeful and prosperous and healthy 2015.

WILLWORK, INC. EXHIBIT & EVENT SERVICES WISHES FOR ALL THE HAPPIEST OF THANKSGIVINGS

WILLWORK – AMONG OTHER SERVICES WE OFFER – IS IN THE BUSINESS OF INSTALLING AND CONSTRUCTING … AND TODAY, HERE … AS IS FITTING AND APPROPRIATE … WE SHARE  INTERESTING INFORMATION ON THE HOMES AND BUILDING PRACTICES OF THOSE WHO ATTENDED THE FIRST THANKSGIVING

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is distinguished for the quality of its labor – and its creativity, ingenuity, work ethic, attention to detail, and professionalism.

Companies and other organizations that range in size from the largest, most established, and most prominent multinationals, to small companies that only recently launched, rely on Willwork for I&D labor, event and show planning and contracting, permanent installation contracting, props, audio-visual production, lead retrieval, data capture … and more.

Willwork has several offices in cities across the U.S.  Its corporate headquarters is in Easton, MA, about 10 miles east of I-95, and about halfway between Boston and Providence.

Actually, and it is whole appropriate and fitting to mention this, here, today, on the cusp of Thanksgiving … our headquarters are approximately 30 miles north of a point on the Atlantic coast where English immigrants arrived on the ship the Mayflower in December of 1620 (after first landing at a place which is present day Cape Cod).

Of the 135 who traveled to the New World, two died at sea, and one child was born, named Oceanus.  Nearly half of those who completed the passage perished in the winter of 1620-21.

In March of 1621, the newly arrived and the first people of the region, the Wampanoag, or Wôpanâak – “People of the First Light” – signed a treaty of mutual protection.

(The town of Easton straddles the ancestral land of the Wampanoag, and many places in Easton and surrounding communities have Wampanoag names.)

Wampanoag wetu, covered in bark for winter (photo credit:  Laura Rulon, Pinterest)

Wampanoag wetu, covered in bark for winter (photo credit: Laura Rulon, Pinterest)

As the weather got better, the settlers (known, then, as “Old Comers,” and who would later – for reasons described in this History.com article – be called Pilgrims) built shelters and a common meeting place, and with the help of the Wampanoag, successfully planted and nurtured and harvested crops.

Inspired by, and thankful for, the bounties and fruits of their first growing season in a new land, the colonists held a three-day harvest celebration (a precursor to the Thanksgiving holiday) – probably in mid-October. The Pilgrims invited members of the Wampanoag to the celebration.  Massasoit, the Wampanoag chief, and 90 of his braves accepted the invitation and attended and participated fully in the event.

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, and with Willwork in the business of – among other focuses and services provided – installing, building, and constructing, we thought it fitting to highlight here today the dwellings of the Wampanog and Pilgrims – what they were composed of, and how they were built.

Interestingly, in those early years living alongside one another, both the Wampanoag, and the Pilgrims, pulled and appropriated their building materials directly from nature, and then fashioned, formed, and placed and connected those materials together to create their shelters.

Yet, for sure, the Wampanoag, again, the first people of the area – and this was evident in their homes – lived more closely and more in harmony with the natural environment.

The Wampanoag constructed round shaped domiciles called wetus that were shaped with tree saplings.  During the warmer months, wetus were covered in cattail mats … and in the cold part of the year, large pieces of tree bark, which afforded better protection from cold, wind, and water than did cattail.  

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Sapling frame of a wetu (photo credit: The Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony: 1620)

As well, in the spring and summer and early fall, the Wampanoag lived in their wetus near the ocean, where they farmed and fished.  As the weather cooled, and winter approached, to employ and garner the shelter of woods, the Wampanoag moved inland and built and occupied larger wetus that were more communal. 

The Pilgrims built English style cottages with timber frames and deeply pitched thatch roofs.  These cottages were about 800 square feet in size, had a fireplace, and often a loft for sleeping.    

To learn more about the structures in which the Wampanoag and Pilgrims lived, and how they were built, please click here to be taken to a page at the website of the living museum Plimouth Plantation.

Another educational and interesting source to learn about Wampanoag and Pilgrim dwellings is found at Scholastic, and can be accessed by clicking here.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services wishes and hopes for everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

WILLWORK WORKERS TAKE ON THE ALS ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE; ALSO DISCUSSED HERE IS THE CONNECTION OF A GREAT PUBLIC SERVANT, WHOSE NAME IS ICONIC IN THE TRADESHOW AND EVENTS INDUSTRY, TO ALS

On August 22, workers from Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services and Teamwork Labor Services, Inc. – companies whose corporate headquarters are located in the same commercial building in metropolitan Boston, joined forces to take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – the worldwide and immensely successful phenomenon that is raising money to support the effort to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Click here to view the video.

Of course, as is the standard protocol and procedure with the challenge, prior to members from Willwork and Teamwork taking on the frigid baths, they called out peers of theirs in the tradeshow, events, and installation industries to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Here are some facts about ALS that have been taken from the ALS Association website:

·         Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. When these cells die, voluntary muscle control and movement dies with them. Patients in the later stages of the disease are totally paralyzed, yet in most cases, their minds remain sharp and alert.

·         Every day, an average of 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS — more than 5,600 people per year. As many as 30,000 Americans may currently be affected by ALS. Annually, ALS is responsible for two deaths per 100,000 people.

·         The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from time of diagnosis. With recent advances in research and improved medical care, many patients are living longer, more productive lives. Half of all those affected live at least three years or more after diagnosis. About 20 percent live five years or more, and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years.

·         ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries. ALS can strike anyone. Every single American is threatened by this disease.

U.S. SEN. JACOB K. JAVITS and ALS

Those who work in the tradeshow and events industry know well the name “Javits” – as in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center – more commonly called “The Javits Center” or “The Javits.”

Born in 1904 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Jacob K. Javits grew up to become a successful lawyer before serving in the U.S. Army in World War II. In 1946, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 21st District.

Rep. Javits was elected as U.S. senator from New York in 1956. Sen. Javits would serve in the U.S. senate for 24 years.

Sen. Javits was diagnosed with ALS in 1979 while serving his fourth term as senator. This diagnosis, which Sen. Javits made public, led to a primary challenge for his seat in the 1980 election, which Sen. Javits lost.

Jacob Javits, highly admired, served with distinction in the U.S. Congress for 34 years.

Sen. Jacob K. Javits died from ALS on March 7, 1986. He was 81 years old.

WILLWORK, INC. EXHIBIT & EVENT SERVICES DELIVERS FOR A REVOLUTIONARY AND WORLD LEADING DESIGNER OF ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDINGS

In the show and events industry, being able to quickly innovate, adapt, change course, mediate, and bring together and coordinate effective and skilled teams of tradespeople and other workers … to wow and make things happen … is at a premium.

Across America, Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is recognized for its ability to deliver the highest quality while adhering to … and often staying out in front of … the most demanding timelines – and meeting or beating the most demanding deadlines.

In everything we do … every assignment … Willwork clients “Experience the Energy.”

Consider an installation & dismantle we did for Project Frog, a revolutionary and world leading designer of energy efficient component buildings that are used across many sectors of society, primarily in education, healthcare, retail, and private housing.

Project Frog came to Boston to display one its structures at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the world’s largest event dedicated to green building.

Willwork was contracted to install and dismantle a … well we’ll let the Project Frog people describe the building: a “1,200 sf Net Zero Energy structure … dubbed ‘Frog Zero’” and which “incorporates the ideal learning environment into the greenest, most sustainable commercial building solution available.” Frog Zero “features 75 percent energy demand reduction, abundant natural light and glare control, superior air quality, fungible user technology, microclimate customization and advanced climate controls in an easy to configure package.”

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services definitely wowed and delivered for Project Frog. The structure typically requires two months to construct – Willwork had seven days! Through pre-planning, and some pre-assembly, Willwork worked around the clock, and accomplished the task ahead of schedule and in record time.

Willwork coordinated the warehousing, then shipped and received the components at the build site in front of the Boston Convention & Exposition Center.

In that the job was done outdoors in Boston in late November meant that the weather could vary greatly – and that ended up being the case. (Yes it was Mark Twain who said, “If you don’t like New England weather, wait a minute.”)
For the installation, temperatures were mild and the air was calm. Yet for the dismantle, there were strong and persistent winds blowing in from the Harbor, and bone-chilling temperatures that ranged (on the Fahrenheit scale) from the mid 20s down to single digits – with wind chill temps getting below zero at night. To quote the supervisor from California: “This was bout the coldest I’ve ever been; single digits and a wind that would not quit. (But) Not one of the workers complained or slowed down.”

Willwork employees representing two labor unions – Iron Workers and Teamsters – comprised the crew.

Willwork coordinated and directed all the heavy equipment operations on the site, including cranes which lifted and put in place eight ceiling panels, each weighing 4,500 pounds. As well, on site, certain components had to be customized and retrofitted, with some of that work involving running table saws on top of roofs 14’ off the ground.

Dismantle of Frog Zero also went smoothly and was completed in considerably less time than projected.

Not long after Frog Zero had been dismantled – and its components packed and sent off – and were back in storage on the West Coast – Willwork was highly gratified and heartened to receive from our client a letter that lauded the efforts and abilities of our crew.

In the letter, our client described the Willwork crew as “fantastic,” and that “working around the clock every Willwork worker was focused” – and that they were “extraordinary in every aspect of this difficult project.”

Singled out for praise in the letter – for his leadership, direction, and customer service – was Bob McGlincy, Willwork’s Director of Business Management. Following is an excerpt from the letter:

“Bob McGlincy was on the job from day one … his focus and expertise made for a much easier time. Bob was present at each shift change and on the job most of the time making sure that all went well. From the beginning he made it very clear … he would do what was necessary to make this project come in on time and on budget. Bob did what he promised ….

A big THANK YOU to Bob, Fudge, Billy, and all the Grads of Willwork U.“

On its website, Project Frog designates Frog Zero in Boston to be a “Frog record” in terms of fewest man hours needed to fully assemble one of its buildings.

Project Frog: just one of the thousands of companies and organizations that knows firsthand what it means to “Experience the Energy” of Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services.

E PLURIBUS UNUM LATIN FOR “OUT OF MANY, ONE” MOTTO OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national company, based in the Boston area. We work from coast to coast across this great country … this great republic … the United States of America.

Day in and day out we see, experience, and benefit from, first hand, the spirit, character, diversity, virtue, and work ethic of the people of this nation. Willwork, our employees, and the families of our employees are immeasurably grateful for and rewarded with the opportunities that America makes available.

Anniversaries concentrate the mind and inspire reflection.

Today – the 13th anniversary of the attacks on our homeland – Willwork encourages all to deeply contemplate and remember the unbearable human loss of that day – those killed and injured, and how their loved ones were forever affected.

Willwork also hopes that we take this occasion to be thankful for and appreciate that the United States … while imperfect … while beset with rancor and divisiveness and sins and mistakes … is exceptional … and better and more extensively represents and supports freedom, liberty, and the highest of human aspiration.

And on this day … and every day … we hope all recognize that the United States of America is … indeed … indisputably … as President Abraham Lincoln so correctly described our union – “ … the last best hope of earth.”

Beyond the Convention Halls and Centers, Hotels, and Conference Facilities – Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services Delivers It Expertise and “energy” in Many Other Types of Venues and Places

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is distinguished for the quality of its labor – and its creativity, ingenuity, work ethic, attention to detail, and professionalism.

 Fenway Park

In 2011, Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services served as the general contractor for the first tradeshow held inside Fenway Park. Shown here is a portion of the show floor of that event (photo credit: Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services)

Companies and other organizations that range in size from the largest, most established, and most prominent multinationals, to small companies that only recently launched, rely on Willwork for I&D labor, event and show planning and contracting, permanent installation contracting, props, audio-visual production, lead retrieval, data capture … and more.

Willwork knows exhibits, and we know events, and we enjoy a challenge and an opportunity to do what other companies are unable to do – or are even unwilling to take on and attempt to do.

Please click here to be taken to a page at the Willwork site where you can find a roster of the services and products we provide.

And in the more than a quarter of century we have been in business, among our most fun and fulfilling work has been installing and dismantling exhibits and properties exceptional in beauty and creativity of design.

Also integral to the success of an event is the space in which it is held. Of course, Willwork has worked in event halls and convention centers around the world – with most of our operations in the United States.

NASCAR

Willwork has delivered its Energy at the NASCAR Hall of Fame (photo credit: NASCAR Hall of Fame)

We have worked in all of the major halls and convention spaces in this country.

Willwork also has a broad and long writ of accomplishment in delivering and exercising our “energy” – from coast to coast – in other types venues, including colleges and universities, hospitals and medical centers, parks and stadiums, museums, intermodal facilities, malls and stores, and corporate offices.

Among the thousands of venues in which Willwork has demonstrated its energy are the following:

Wherever … and whenever …. as needed and as our clients request … Willwork organizes, plans, coordinates, designs, installs, sets up, takes down, dismantles, packs, transports, maintains, and refurbishes better and more efficiently, and with more skill and creativity and focus, than any company anywhere.